Macquarie Capital, Israel Infrastructure Fund (IIF) and Tiger Infrastructure Partners have combined their UK fibre businesses and are injecting up to £250m (€288m) of new funding, as part of their acquisition of another rural broadband provider.
The three firms have merged SWS Broadband and Cadence Networks with Voneus Broadband to operate as part of Voneus, and acquired Broadway Partners for an unspecified amount.
Tiger Infrastructure, the principal shareholder of Rural Broadband Solutions, the holding company of SWS Broadband and Cadence Networks, will become a major shareholder in the combined group alongside Macquarie and IIF.
Macquarie initially invested in Voneus in 2019 and IIF first invested in Voneus in 2021.
The companies said the newly combined group will be funded with up to £250m in new capital from the three shareholders and bank lenders. Macquarie led the debt fundraise.
Christopher Traggio, CEO of Voneus Broadband, said: “This is a very exciting time for Voneus and for our new partners, shareholders and the communities we serve.
“We have the backing of our shareholders to accelerate our rollout plan, which we know will make a positive impact, as we all share the same focus to deliver innovative broadband solutions to communities across the UK.”
Oliver Bradley, senior managing director at Macquarie Capital, said the capital raise from the three infrastructure investors and the joining of UK rural fibre players “means we can rapidly accelerate the vital role we have in closing the digital divide nationwide”.
Yaron Kestenbaum, co-founder and managing partner of IIF, said: “Our goal has always been to help Voneus evolve into a bigger and stronger business, with far wider outreach and solid institutional shareholder support. This merger will go a long way to achieving this.”
Emil W Henry Jr, CEO of Tiger Infrastructure, said: “The shared vision of Voneus and Rural Broadband Solutions has been to invest alongside the UK government to deliver best-in-class infrastructure and service to meet the connectivity needs of greatly underserved rural households and small businesses.
“We are pleased to be teaming up with Macquarie Capital and Israel Infrastructure Fund to rapidly advance the realisation of that vision.”
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